3 out of 4 stars
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Well, are you confident you know what Cinderella is all about? And how about Jack and the Bean Stalk? Yes, you say? And Rapunzel too? Amazing! So, listening to these tales once more might just not be too engaging for you then. At least that’s the thought that Murray Grossan, author of the book Fairy Tales that Resonate Today, believed when he decided to wipe clean all chances of boredom by adding plot twists into each of these beloved fairy tales. These revamped versions of these fairy tales feel somewhat familiar, but – in places – also prove to be shockingly different.
Cindy Roundtree (Cinderella) lost her mother (the Countess) and her father (the Count) remarried—you know it—an evil witch. However, what you didn’t know was that her gullible father also had a lawyer and good friend who was shocked to see that the Count had left everything to his new wife. This lawyer had the presence of mind to ask the reason why the Count hadn’t included Cindy in the will. But boy oh boy, nothing matters when the witch has capabilities to brew potions to “fix” the smartest of people. Or does it? Grossan has introduced so many modern twists to the tale that you cannot even imagine, but what’s best about it? There IS a happily ever after at the end.
And this is just one of the fairy tales that have been given a twist by the author. The other modern-day fairy tales (well, these are not really enchanting, but more realistic) in the book are Jack and the Bean Stalk, Rapunzel Rapunzel Let Down Your Hair, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and Small Helpers, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and Not Little Red Riding Hood.
As a fan of books and movies that involve fantasy, I was fascinated with the idea of there being splashes of the modern day added to stories we loved listening to as children. For instance, it was really chuckle-worthy to see that Prince Harry was taken with Cinderella’s golden hair that “looked just like [in] the L’Oréal ads.” Sadly, though the stories were good for the most part, some of them proved to be a little slow and drawn out and failed to pack a proper punch.
I’ll take the example of the Cinderella story here as I have already spoken about it above. While it was good to see that Prince Harry’s people ran DNA tests on Cinderella’s slipper to find out who it belonged to (I like how they used modern science here and made the whole thing more logical), from then on, the story just stretched and stretched to a point that I was checking to see if there were other stories in the book. The story deviates a lot from the main plot and takes many side trips, and this did manage to get the interest level down a bit. Even so, the way the different scenes were knit together in each of the stories was good, and I felt as if I really wanted to find out what turn the story took next for the most part. There were also a few funny scenes, though not too frequent in the book; so, overall, I would still consider this book entertaining if you go in knowing what to expect.
Another thing I really liked about these stories was the measure of realism mixed into each. While “true love” is not something that most of these stories showcase, these modern tales do manage to showcase real human behavior that we are accustomed to seeing in life or reading in the news. The inclusions of such realistic twists to the story gave the book more credibility, while keeping the language easy to understand and the flow smooth.
Unfortunately, the grammar itself wasn't dealt with the same expertise. There were issues with punctuation, missing spaces, missing or extra quotation marks, incorrect word usage, and capitalization. Additionally, there was a lot of mention of rape and fake orgasms and internet sex. This means that this book definitely isn’t for the younger age groups.
After giving a lot of thought as to the rating, I've decided to give Fairy Tales that Resonate Today 3 out of 4 stars. I did point out a number of reasons that prevented this book from being rated higher; however, I didn't think they justified giving this book just 2 stars. 3 stars sounded just about right. I recommend this story to grown-up (you see why I have to mention this) fans of fairy tales who aren’t easily offended by mentions of sex and orgasms. There were no sexual scenes as such, so readers who avoid such things can safely pick up this book too.
Fairy Tales that Resonate Today
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